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Jefferson County must roll back business to 50 percent, other restrictions begin Tuesday

Jefferson County is among nine in a Trauma Service Area that must limit the occupancy of businesses to 50 percent as a result of a trend of high hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 22).

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick received a letter Monday from Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, that the area met the definition of a high hospitalization area under Gov. Greg Abbott’s GA-32 executive order issued Oct. 7.

Elective surgeries are also not allowed.

Other counties impacted include Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Liberty, Newton and Orange.

According to the letter, the new definition of areas with high hospitalizations reads:

“Any Trauma Service Area (TSA) that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.”

If a county has fewer than 30 cases reported over a 14-day period and the county’s judge attests that to the Department of State Health Services, business in that county may operate at 75 percent capacity, which was the limit before Monday.